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JessLynnBabblin'

  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

140: Texas Events


jack-o-lanterns lit and hanging at night
Pumpkin Nights, Austin TX

Howdy! I moved to Texas from, well technically Philadelphia Pennsylvania, but really New York, back in January 2019ish. I was only in Philly for a few months which is barely long enough to leave an impression. Whenever I move to a new place, on days off from work, I try to live like a (frugal) tourist, and I'll maintain that exploratory mindset for as long as possible. I don't want to be bored with home. I want to be excited about becoming a part of each new community. Meaning I'm always on the lookout for events near me.


Texas is such a large state, and I don't drive, so I stick pretty exclusively to events in the Central or Eastern areas, sometimes dipping into the North. Even leaving West Texas out entirely, I find annual events worth revisiting during every season. When loved ones suggest visiting, I tell them they're always welcome but for their own good, not to come during July nor August. Trust me when I say it's way too hot to be spending any time outside then.


And when I visit a new place, I'll often schedule that trip to coincide with an event. Here are some (not insanely expensive) events worth checking out if you're planning a trip to Texas:


Winter:

  • Texas Independence Day

    • March 2nd

    • There are events all over Texas

  • Rodeo Austin (includes a carnival)

    • Early March-Late March

    • 9100 Decker Lake Rd, Austin, TX 78724

Spring:


  • Texas Sandfest (sand sculpture festival)

    • Mid April

    • 403 W. Cotter Port Aransas, TX 78373

  • Eeyore's Birthday Party (adult festival)

    • Late April or Early May

    • Pease District Park, 1100 Kingsbury St, Austin, TX 78703

  • Folk Festival

    • Late May-Early June

    • Quiet Valley Ranch, 3876 Medina Hwy., Kerrville, TX 78028


Summer:


Fall:

  • Texas State Fair

    • Late September-Late October

    • 925 S. Haskell, Dallas, Texas 75223

  • Pumpkin Nights (Halloween Park)

    • Mid September-October

    • Austin & Dallas/Fort Worth

  • Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead Festival & Parade)

    • End of October-First Week of November

    • There are events all over San Antonio

  • Texas Renaissance Festival

    • Mid October-Early December

    • 21778 Farm to Market 1774, Todd Mission, TX 77363

      • (northwest of Houston)

  • Wurstfest (German heritage festival)

    • Early November

    • 120 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130

Some of these I've never been to, but would like to check out. Most I've taken part in at least once and enjoyed. This is by no means an exhaustive list. No matter when you come, if you're staying near a city, there will be weekend events so keep an eye out. They'll be listed on Facebook, searching by location and events, or on the official tourism site for that city.


Thanks for stopping by! I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!



Newsletter

Howdy! This past week included the Frist Friday of the month, when I sell art in downtown Bryan Texas, so I mainly focused on preparing for that. I watercolored flowers, made a new woodburning and updated a woodburning left over from October.


watercolor of calendula flowers
Calendula

woodburning of cranes in front of a sunset
Cranes

Woodburning of a jack-o-lantern that has a bow
Betty

First Friday went well, for the most part. There isn't a dedicated Art Loop 979 manager right now, I think? So there weren't chalk lines designating the booth spaces, meaning vendors tried to abide by the event map but didn't quite succeed. I was squished up next to a dumpster, nearly half a block from where I should have been, since everyone who came, spread out. Thankfully, not everybody showed up. The weather was nice though. And there was no booth fee for March so I can't complain much. Booth fees have started up again, so I really hope somebody indicates proper booth placements for April.


Some other changes with the First Friday Art Loop is that there will be a hard cap on 25 vendors, when in the past there were sometimes as many as 50, and leadership is back to expecting artists to be engaging in interactive activities while manning their booths. My understanding is that that used to be a requirement that went by the wayside because it's impractical. Anyone who has ever worked customer service knows that the second a customer appears, your duty is to greet them, and likely converse further, which means not working on whatever task you were in the middle of. In this case, that task would be making art. Many vendors have multiple people manning their booth. In their cases, it would be feasible, I think, for the artist to make art while their peer handles sales. Unfortunately, while my husband assists with setup and takedown, he doesn't stay the entire event. Normally there would be no reason for him to do so, and Friday nights he has a standing date with his college friends.


I have tried painting at First Friday before, but it felt like a waste because I couldn't focus, what with the constant interruptions. Especially when the interruptions are the point. I'm there to sell art, not to put on a show. Anyway, I didn't like what I was working on and never bothered to finish it. There is also the issue of space. I have to bring another table if I want to paint, plus supplies, when the current going load already fills our little car.



The day after I sell art at an event, I do inventory. That, and putting the unsold pieces back on the wall, took up most of my Saturday. Gaps in my decor are visually annoying, but a positive sign, in that the pieces that went there are now in homes around the community, which is a good feeling.


I did get a smidge of writing done this week on the Hesket House Tower horror story, and I've continued reading Spare by Prince Harry.


This week concluded a month of me dropping three TikToks a day, which social media gurus swore would lead to a dramatic increase in views. I haven't noticed an increase in viewership so I'm going to tone down my efforts there.

This week, I think I'm going to work on my Soul Walker manuscript. It's paranormal fiction. I also need to buy art supplies because I'm out of spray varnish, wood discs and frames for watercolors. As for what art I'm going to make, I'm playing that by ear. Thanks for stopping by! I drop a new newsletter every Monday. Toodles!


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